Student Code of Conduct
As a community of scholars, Shepherd University is dedicated to promoting learning and student success. In order to foster a conducive learning and living community, Shepherd University addresses violations of any of the following policies:
100. Violations of Law
Violation of federal, state, or local laws or ordinances.
200. Violations of Other University Regulations and Policies
Violation of any other university rule, regulation, or policy.
- 201. University Rule: Violation of any other university rule, regulation, or policy
- 202. Parking Decal: Unauthorized use of parking decal.
300. Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on examinations, falsifying records, submitting plagiarized work of any kind, or providing or receiving assistance in coursework in a manner not authorized by the instructor.
Failure to attend Orientation Step 1: Advisement and Registration and Orientation Step 2: New Student Welcome unless given written permission by the Office of New Student Programs.
500. Failure to Comply
- 501. Directions from Officials: Failure or refusal to comply with directions or instructions of faculty, staff, administration, police, or resident assistants when they are acting in official capacities.
- 502. Electronic Messages: Failure to review or to respond to official electronic messages through the university email system.
600. Computer Misuse
- 601. Computer Privacy or Security: Intentionally compromising the privacy of computer files or attempting to breach the security of any computer system to which the individual has not been authorized to access.
- 602. Software Agreements/Copyright: Violations of software licensing agreements or copyright or other intellectual property regulations.
700. ID Card/Key Card/Keys
- 701. Unauthorized Key Use: Use, possession, sharing, conveyance, or duplication of university “Rambler” identification card, key cards, or keys without authorization from a university official.
- 702. University ID: Failure to carry a Shepherd University “Rambler” identification card while on campus.
Assisting or complicity to any violation of the Student Code of Conduct, the Student Handbook, or other published policies. Presence at or failure to leave immediately a situation where a violation is occurring.
900. Damage to Property
- 901. University Property: Damaging or impairing university property.
- 902. Other’s Property: Damaging or impairing another person’s property.
Theft or attempted theft of university property or another person’s property including unauthorized use or possession of university property or another person’s property.
1100. Fire Emergency/Threat
- 1101. False Bomb Threat: Placing a false bomb threat.
- 1102. Fire or False Emergency: Causing a fire, fire hazard, false fire alarm, or another false emergency.
- 1103. Failure to Evacuate: Failure to evacuate immediately during an alarm or other emergency.
- 1104. Safety Equipment: Tampering with, damaging, disabling, or misusing fire safety or other safety equipment.
- 1105. Propping Doors: Propping open or preventing an interior or exterior door from closing securely.
- 1106. Blocking Exits: Blocking fire or emergency exits or routes in any way. Obstructing direct access to a door or window so that evacuation is hindered. Door and hallways must remain clear of obstructions.
1200. Fireworks and Chemicals
- 1201. Fireworks: Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of fireworks or explosives on university property.
- 1202. Chemicals: Unauthorized use, possession, or storage of hazardous chemicals that could pose a health or safety risk, either by themselves or in conjunction with other chemicals.
- 1301. Firearms: Use, possession, or storage of firearms or ammunition.
- 1302. Other Weapons: Use, possession, or storage of any item that may constitute a weapon on campus, except as approved and required for an academic class, including but not limited to: blank pistols, Taser guns, reasonable facsimile of guns, air rifles, air pistols, archery equipment, swords, sharp tools such as axes and hatchets, paint ball guns, sling shots, knives with blades in excess of four inches in length.
- 1401. Possession/Use: Possession, use, manufacture, purchase, or distribution of alcoholic beverages by or to any person under 21 years of age.
- 1402. Public Intoxication: Appearing intoxicated or having an open container of alcohol in a public area.
- 1403. Common Source Containers: Possession of common source containers of alcohol, such as kegs and punch bowls.
- 1404. Excessive Consumption Activities: Involvement in activities or possession of items used predominantly for and which encourage excessive consumption of alcohol, such as beer pong tables and beer bongs/funnels.
- 1405. Trophy Bottles: Possession of decorative, souvenir, or empty alcohol bottles, cans, or similar containers by any person under 21 years of age.
- 1406. Student Clubs, Organizations, and Groups: Any violation of Alcohol Policy for Student Clubs, Organizations, and Groups.
NOTE: That signs or symptoms that might reasonably indicate use of or intoxication by alcohol, or the presence of alcohol beverage containers, may be construed as proximate indicators of alcohol possession or consumption.
Smoking and the use of all tobacco products are prohibited on Shepherd University campuses. This policy includes the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco such as chew or snuff, electronic vaping devices and hookahs. This prohibition includes all Shepherd University facilities, grounds within the campus boundaries as well as within University-owned or leased vehicles (regardless of registration or off-road status).
See more about the Tobacco Free Campus here: https://www.shepherd.edu/tobaccofree
- 1601. Use, Possession, Purchase, or Distribution: The unlawful possession, purchase, use, or distribution of controlled sub- stances, and/or illegal drugs in any amount. Being in possession of another person’s prescribed medicine.
- 1602. Synthetic Drugs: Purchase, possession, use, abuse, or distribution of any synthetic or natural chemical or material that may cause intoxication and/or require emergency intervention, including, but not limited to: bath salts, huffing, salvia, and synthetic versions of drugs.
- 1603. Syringes: Possession of medical syringes without a legitimate prescription.
- 1604. Paraphernalia: Possession of paraphernalia typically associated with the possession, use or distribution of controlled substances, and/or illegal drugs.
1700. Invasion of Privacy
Transmitting, recording, or photographing the image or voice of another person without their knowledge or consent while in an environment that is considered private or where there is an expectation of privacy, such as inside a residence hall or bathroom.
Submitting false, incomplete, or misleading information on official documents or to police, faculty, staff, administration, or resident assistants when they are acting in an official capacity.
1900. Lewd or Indecent Behavior
Any conduct that is offensive to accepted standards of decency such as public nudity or public urination.
2000. Disruptive Conduct
Actions which disrupt or interfere with the instructional program or threaten the orderliness, operation, or well-being of the campus, the surrounding community, or its members.
2100. Endangering Conduct
Any act that jeopardizes the health or safety of self or others.
Verbal abuse, physical abuse, intimidation, the threat of these actions, or any other that endangers or threatens the well-being, safety, or educational opportunity of any person(s).
Any action or situation, whether recklessly or intentionally, which has the effect of endangerment of personal safety, interference with academic work, violation of university policy, or production of psychological, mental, or physical discomfort, embarrassment, safety, harassment, or ridicule, regardless of the person’s consent.
- 2401. Identity Discrimination: Promoting or demanding any action on the part of a member of the campus community that would constitute discrimination on the basis of ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, gender expression, identity, life experiences, medical condition, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law.
- 2402. Hate Activities: Engaging in hate activities that demean, ridicule, and/or endanger other members of the campus, especially on the basis of the statuses listed in the section above.
Unwanted physical, verbal, nonverbal or other conduct relating to a person’s protected status, including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, life experiences, medical condition, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law, and which may result in one or more of the following:
A) The creation of intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, living, or academic environment; or
B) Substantial or unreasonable interference with an individual’s work, living, or academic performances; or
C) The development of an adverse effect on an individual’s employment or academic opportunities.
- 2501. Inequitable Treatment: Unjustified inequitable treatment that results in the above consequences and may include bullying, intimidation, and/or the use of demeaning language, the use of language or gestures that are disrespectful or imply a person’s inferiority, or intolerance of cultural differences.
- 2502. Gender-Based Harassment: Gender-based harassment, includes unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a student’s actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes.
2600. Sexual Misconduct
- 2601. Non-consensual Sexual Contact: Non-Consensual Sexual Contact includes any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, performed by a person upon another person. Sexual Contact includes (a) intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching another with any of these body parts; and (b) making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts.
- 2602. Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse: Non-consensual sexual intercourse includes any penetration, however slight, with any object or body part, performed by a person upon another person. Sexual Intercourse includes (a) vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; (b) anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and (c) any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person.
- 2603. Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment includes unwanted or unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or other behavior of a sexual nature.
- 2604. Sexual Exploitation: Sexual Exploitation includes taking non-consensual, unjust, or abusive advantage of another person for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the person who is exploited.
2700. Relationship Violence
- 2701. Dating Violence: Committing, attempting, or threatening an act of violence against a person in a romantic or intimate relationship, either currently or formerly.
- 2702. Domestic Violence: Committing, attempting, or threatening an act of violence by a person against a current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person sharing a child in common, or person situated in a similar familial environment.
For more information on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct, see http://www.shepherd.edu/title-ix/gender-based-discrimination-sexual-misconduct-and-interpersonal-violence-policy
Stalking includes engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Retaliation includes retaliatory action of any kind, including intimidation, coercion, or threats, against any individual as a result of a person’s attempt to seek redress or to participate in an investigation under applicable procedures dealing with sexual and other misconduct.
3000. Guest Responsibility
Being with any guest, both students and non-students who violate university policies. Shepherd University students are responsible for their guest’s actions while on campus and for informing guests of university policies.
3100. Unauthorized Building/Facility Use
Unauthorized presence on, in, or use of university premises, facilities, or property.
3200. Entering/Exiting Building
- 3201. Inappropriate Entering or Exiting: Entering or exiting a building in any way other than through an appropriate doorway.
- 3202. Emergency Doors: Utilizing an emergency exit door at any time other than an emergency.
5000. Residency Requirement
Failure to live on campus for all single, full-time undergraduate students who are not commuting from a parent’s or guardian’s home within a designated commuting area.
5100. Active Sports
Participating in active sports in areas that are not designated for that purpose. Active sports include, but are not limited to: football, baseball, basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, hockey, track and field, tennis, use of skateboards, longboards, scooters, bicycles, or motorized vehicles indoors.
5200. Appliances in Residence Halls
Plugging an appliance such as a microwave or refrigerator into anything other than the wall outlet.
5300. Bathroom Use
Utilizing the bathroom facilities that are not designated for one’s gender identity in traditional halls.
5400. Bathroom capacities
Having more than one person in a shower or toilet stall.
5500. Guest Escort
Having a guest who is not escorted by their host. A guest is defined as a non-resident of the building. A host is defined as a resident of the hall who has a guest in the building.
5600. Guest Visitation
- 5601. Unregistered Guest Hosting: Hosting an unregistered guest in a residence hall when guest registration is required
- 5602. Unapproved Guest: Hosting a guest or another building resident who is not assigned to that space in the student living area without prior roommate permission.
- 5603. Unescorted Guest: Being present in a residence hall without a specific host.
Hosting the same guest overnight more than three nights per week, defined as the time period Sunday night through Saturday night. An overnight guest is defined as a guest which stays in a student living space where reasonable indicators would indicate a prolonged stay.
Use of residence hall laundry facilities by anyone who is not a resident of the building.
5900. Personal Storage
Leaving or storing personal items in common areas or facilities areas within the residence halls without permission from Residence Life staff.
6000. Animals in Residence Halls
Having an animal which is not a service animal or which has not been approved by Accessibility Services
- Non-dangerous fish that are in tanks no larger than 20 gallons within the residence halls are permitted. One tank is allowed per resident.
6100. Prohibited Items in Residence Halls
Possession of any of the following items:
- 6101. Appliances: Refrigerators that exceed 5.0 cubic feet (one permitted per resident), microwaves using more than 750 watts (one permitted per room), electric heaters.
- 6102. Beds: unapproved water beds, lofts, or beds larger than twin-size.
- 6103. Electrical: Appliances which exceed 20 amps of power at one time, power tools such as sanders, saws, welding equipment, air conditioners, ceiling fans, washing machines, freezers, or other high voltage equipment.
- 6104. Extension Cords: Any electrical extension cord or multi-plug outlet other than UL approved devices that have a built-in circuit breaker/reset buttons.
- 6105. Cooking: Barbecue grills, hibachis, Coleman stoves, sterno/portable stoves, devices designed to cook food such as hot plates, electric grills, hot plates, deep fat fryers, air fryers, pressure cookers/Instant pots, toasters, toaster ovens, oven broilers, rice cookers, or open coil appliances are not permitted except for residents of Dunlop or Printz Halls.
- 6106. Combustibles and Open Flame Apparatus: including but not limited to kerosene lamps or heaters, incense, candles, charcoal, or propane.
- 6107. Decorations: Having more than half (50%) of the walls within living spaces covered in combustible items such as tapestries, posters, pictures, etc.
- Attaching to or suspending items from the ceilings within residence halls
- Decorations on residence doors or decorations outside 12” of all door frames
- 6108. Other:
- hookahs or other common use smoking devices
- halogen lamps
- live Christmas trees
- motorized vehicles within residence halls
- satellite dishes
- sub-woofers or similar items which amplify sound including bass that disrupts the community.
NOTE: hookahs and other smoking devices may be considered to be paraphernalia and proximate indicators of drug use.
6200. Quiet Hours
Having sound that can be heard more than two doors down the hallway or on another level of the building during the following designated times:
- Sunday at 9 p.m.-Monday at 10 a.m.
- Monday at 9 p.m.-Tuesday at 10 a.m.
- Tuesday at 9 p.m.-Wednesday at 10 a.m.
- Wednesday at 9 p.m.-Thursday at 10 a.m.
- Thursday at 9 p.m.-Friday at 10 a.m.
- Friday at 11 p.m.-Saturday at noon
- Saturday at 11 p.m.-Sunday at noon
6300. Quiet Hours–Courtesy
Having sound which interferes with other students’ abilities to study undisturbed at any time.
6400. Quiet Hours–24 Hour
Having sound that can be heard more than two doors down the hallway or on another level of the building during designated 24-hour quiet hour times.
6500. Removal of University Property
Removing or relocating university property and furniture from its assigned location.
6600. Room Alteration
Making any type of alteration or repair to the structure of the residence hall facility, furnishing, or equipment.
6700. Window Screen Removal
Removing residence hall window screens from their casings.
6800. Room Assignment
- 6801. Unapproved Occupancy: Living in or occupying any residence living space other than one’s assigned location.
- 6802. Unassigned Occupant: Allowing anyone other than the person(s) assigned to the space by the Residence Life Office to live in or occupy any residence living space beyond those permitted in the visitation policy.
6900. Room Capacities
- 6901. Traditional Halls: Having more than five people in a student room in a traditional hall (Shaw and Thacher Halls).
- 6902. Suite-Style Halls: Having more than eight people in one unit of a suite-style hall (Boteler, Burkhart, Lurry, Miller, Moler, Martin, Potomac Place, and Yost halls).
- 6903. Apartments: Having more than 12 people in one unit of an apartment (Dunlop and Printz halls).
7000. Room Condition
- 7001. Room Condition Unclean: Keeping a student’s room, bathroom, or living area in unclean and/or unacceptable condition, including when preparing for university breaks.
- 7002. Room Condition Overtaken: Not having a room in a condition that is ready to accept a roommate when a vacancy exists in an assigned living space.
- 7003. Room Condition, Odor: Having odors that originate from inside a student room that are detectable outside the room.
7100. Room Responsibility
Behaviors which are in violation of the Student Code of Conduct that occur within a student’s living space or common area. Residents are responsible for all behaviors which occur in their assigned spaces.
Solicitation or sales of any service, product, or promotion in the student residence areas of a building without prior permission from the director of Residence Life, or designee. Advertisements, sale, or solicitation of alcoholic beverages is not allowed in residence halls or student mailboxes.
Placing personal trash items in a location other than the designated locations, such as dumpsters outside of the residence halls.
The Student Conduct System
The university student conduct procedures are separate from legal proceedings, and not all legal principles apply. All student conduct proceedings are private in accordance with pertinent federal legislation (including the Family Education Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA), Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, and state laws). To honor their due process rights, students can expect the following:
- To be presumed not responsible for a violation;
- To receive fair, prompt, and impartial treatment;
- To be notified of an alleged violation in writing in a timely manner;
- To be informed of the nature of the information used as a basis for the charge;
- To present information on their behalf related to the alleged incident;
- To contest any charges of alleged policy violations and to challenge individuals, including witnesses, who allege that a policy violation has occurred;
- To provide names and contact information of witnesses to be included during the student conduct process;
- To seek advice or advocacy from any member of the campus community or legal counsel;
- To receive sanctions, if appropriate, that are consistent with the severity or frequency of the offense and in accordance with the Student Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct;
- To appeal a decision(s) for good cause (e.g., unfair or biased process or sanctioning, new information, or procedure concerns); and
- To have access to their personal student records.
- In accordance with FERPA, the university is allowed 45 days to provide a student their educational records, which includes records regarding student Only the original conduct records relating to the student making the request may be provided/reviewed and they may not be removed from the office. A financial charge may be assessed to the student for these records.
Enrollment at Shepherd University is a voluntary decision, which includes a student’s acceptance of the responsibility to meet academic requirements and to behave consistently with the university’s policies, purposes and objectives at all times, on campus, off campus and in cyberspace. The university reserves the right to notify law enforcement to problems on or off campus. Shepherd University’s jurisdiction includes university-owned or operated property, as well as university-sponsored functions that occur on or off campus.
Students should demonstrate respect and concern for all members of both on-campus and off-campus communities and behave as responsible citizens. Students should understand that conduct investigation and charges will be initiated when the university’s interest, safety, and/or capacity to function as an academic community is involved. The university jurisdiction includes any misrepresentation or fraud related to a student’s application for admission or readmission. The Student Conduct process applies to any individual who is enrolled in or auditing courses at Shepherd University on a full-time or part-time basis, including between terms, during vacation periods, advisement and registration sessions, orientation, summer break, or a period of suspension or withdrawal. The Student Conduct process applies to individual students, student groups, student clubs, and student organizations recognized by or affiliated with Shepherd University. As such, sanctions may apply to individuals, groups and/or organizations.
The university reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community.
Interim Administrative Action
Serving as the Student Conduct administrator, the Student Affairs designee, may defer procedural due process and enforce an interim action if necessary to maintain safety or order. If, in the judgment of the Student Conduct administrator or designee, there is probable cause to believe the continued presence of an accused student on campus might constitute an unreasonable risk to university students, faculty, staff, or property, the Student Conduct administrator, or designee, may take interim actions to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community. Within two business days, the Student Conduct administrator or designee will convene a committee consisting of three faculty or staff members to review information to determine whether a temporary suspension or restriction is warranted and should be continued. The student will have an opportunity to address the committee. The committee has the authority to restrict or suspend the student on an interim basis, pending the outcome of the Student Conduct process. The results of the committee meeting will be announced to the student and will not be considered to be a part of the Student Conduct process nor an indication of a student’s responsibility for an alleged policy violation.
Modifying the Student Code of Conduct
The university reserves the right to amend the Student Code of Conduct and Student Conduct process at any time. Communication of any changes will be made to the university community in a timely fashion.
The Student Affairs Office designee has the responsibility in defining and interpreting the Student Code of Conduct and conduct procedures.
Filing A Complaint
Any member of the university community may file (and is responsible for filing) a complaint against an individual who allegedly violates the rights of another person or a Shepherd University regulation or policy.
Shepherd University strongly supports the vigorous prosecution in the state courts of any person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the university. Students who experience crimes are strongly encouraged to file such complaints with the Shepherd University Police, or with the following: West Virginia State Police, Shepherdstown Police Department, or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department who all hold concurrent jurisdiction. Whenever a complaint is presented to a Shepherd University police officer or Student Affairs staff that occurred outside the jurisdiction of the university, the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction will be notified of any alleged crime, if they have not been previously notified. Notification will include the offense alleged and the name of the alleged perpetrator but disclosure of the respondent’s identity will be at the election of the student complainant, unless disclosure by a university official is legally compelled.
- Students who are victims of a crime or persons wishing to report a crime should contact the University Police by calling 911, or at their office in Moler Hall. An officer can be reached for non-emergency calls at 304-876-5202.
- Students who wish to report a violation of a campus policy or wish to file a complaint against another student should contact the Student Affairs Office or Residence Life staff member
- Students who are victims of interpersonal violence, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking should refer to http://www.shepherd.edu/title-ix
Student Conduct Processes
After a violation of a campus policy is alleged, a written incident report is submitted to Student Conduct. A Student Conduct officer reviews the report and takes one of the following actions:
- Verbal conduct warning
- Written conduct warning
- Conduct charges–The student conduct process is outlined below
Preliminary Student Conduct Hearing Process
- The Student Conduct officer may offer a respondent a preliminary hearing. During a preliminary hearing, the Student Conduct officer will meet with the respondent to review the charges and the options they have available to them to resolve their questions. The respondent has up to two business days from the time the preliminary hearing meeting concludes (or by 8 a.m. on the next university business day if the deadline occurs when the university is closed) to decide which option the respondent would like to utilize to resolve the charges. Possible ways a preliminary hearing can be resolved include:
- The respondent accepts responsibility for the Student Code of Conduct violation charges and sanctions are determined.
- The respondent does not accept responsibility for Student Code of Conduct violation charges and the violation process moves forward to an Administrative or Formal Student Conduct Hearing.
- Student Code of Conduct violation charges are dropped based on information present.
- If a respondent does not accept responsibility or does not attend the preliminary hearing, sanctions will be convened at the discretion of the Student Affairs designee, Director of Residence Life, or other designee. Students are not required to participate in the Student Conduct process; however, the Student Conduct process will continue based on the information that is presented and available at the time of the preliminary hearing.
- At the discretion of the university, the Student Conduct process may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following legal proceedings.
- The university reserves the right to resolve the matter through a formal administrative hearing or Student Conduct Hearing Board should the Student Conduct officer deems it to be necessary based on the type and severity of the alleged violation. In this case, a respondent may not be offered a preliminary hearing option.
Formal Student Conduct Hearing Process
- A respondent will attend a pre-hearing conference prior to the formal conduct hearing. In this conference, the respondent will be able to view all documents which will be presented during the Formal Student Conduct Hearing and have an opportunity to submit additional documentation. A complainant will have this same opportunity.
- Formal hearings may be conducted by the Student Affairs designee who serves as a facilitator of the process.
- A Student Conduct Hearing Board is comprised of three board members and a chair member who are faculty and staff at Shepherd University. These members will review documentation, ask clarifying questions of all parties in the hearing, and determine responsibility and sanctions for the violation.
- An Administrative Hearing has one administrative hearing officer may be used for cases except those concerning sexual misconduct where physical contact has occurred. An administrative hearing may occur through the Student Affairs Office or the Residence Life Office. The Administrative Hearing officer will review documents, ask clarifying questions, and determine responsibility and sanctions for the violation.
- No recordings of the proceedings shall be made by any person other than the Student Conduct administrator or the administrative hearing officer. All formal hearing recordings will be maintained by the Student Affairs designee.
- The Student Conduct officer will notify the student at least five days in advance of the date, time, and place of the formal hearing in writing.
- The student(s) reserve the right to not participate in the formal hearing process. However, the formal hearing will be held as scheduled and a decision will be based on the documentation available.
- In hearings involving more than one respondent, the Student Conduct administrator or the administrative hearing officer, may use professional judgment to permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately or jointly.
- Students have the right to have an advisor, including legal counsel, present at formal hearings and pre-hearing conferences. An advisor will be designated for all respondents if they do not select one for themselves.
- An advisor may consult and advise the student but may not speak on the behalf of the student, ask questions of the participants, address the Student Conduct officer or Student Conduct Board members publicly during formal proceedings, serve as a witness, or otherwise participate directly in the proceedings in Student Conduct hearings. However, advisors may conduct cross examination during hearings falling under Title IX rule.
- If the respondent is found responsible, the student will be informed of sanctions via campus email within two business days and will has the right to appeal the decision.
- If the respondent is found not responsible, the respondent will be excused, all charges will be dropped.
- The respondent will be notified in writing of the findings of the formal hearing and sanctions, if appropriate. The complainant will be notified simultaneously in writing of the findings of the formal hearing and sanctions in cases related to interpersonal violence as allowed by federal law.
- The respondent will have an opportunity to file an appeal to the Student Affairs designee within two business days in writing with any new information or indication of bias. If an appeal is granted, an appeal board will review all information and make a final decision.
- The complainant will also have the opportunity to file an appeal in cases related to interpersonal violence, and as allowed by federal guidelines.
- Please refer to the Title IX web site for detailed information about interpersonal violence and incidents related to alleged policy violations related to sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Appeal Process for Formal Administrative Hearings
- An appeal may be made on the following grounds:
- The Student Conduct process was not conducted in a fair or impartial manner
- New, relevant information became available after the hearing was completed
- The hearing was not conducted according to established procedures
- A respondent has up to two business days (or by 8 a.m. on the next university business day if the deadline occurs when university offices are closed) from the date of the decision notification to submit an appeal in writing. This notification must clearly identify which of the reason(s) for the appeal and give clear support for this reason.
- For cases in which the formal hearing occurred as an administrative hearing through the Residence Life Office, appeals are filed to the Director of Residence Life or designee, who will serve as the appellate officer.
- For cases in which the formal hearing occurred as an administrative hearing through the Office of Student Conduct or Dean of Students, appeals are filed to the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee, who will serve as the appellate officer.
- The decision of the appellate officer will be considered final in all appeal cases and cannot be further appealed. Decisions of the appellate officer may take one of the following three forms:
- Affirm the original decision and sanctions
- Change the original decision and/or sanctions
- Void the original decision and order a new formal hearing
- Except as required to explain the basis of new information, the appeals process will be limited to the content of the appeal request, a review of hearing recordings (if any), supporting documents, and related information. The university representative, the respondent, and the complainant may not be required to attend the Appeals Hearing Board unless needed to explain the basis of new information
- In circumstances where new information is presented, both the respondent and the complainant will be notified of the date, time, and location of the appeals administrative hearing.
- Before the appeals administrative hearing, both the respondent and the complainant may review any new evidence that will be introduced to the appeal hearing.
- The respondent and the complainant may have an advisor, including legal counsel, if they choose. An advisor may consult and advise the student but may not speak on the behalf of the student. Please see advisor information under the formal hearings section for more information.
- The respondent, the complainant, the university representative, and the appellate officer may make arrangements for witnesses to present or explain pertinent information. The appellate officer reserves the right to ask only those questions that are relevant to the new evidence
- The university representative, the respondent, and the complainant may have the opportunity to suggest questions in writing to the appellate officer of anyone presenting information during the formal hearing. The appellate officer will review and present the questions at their professional judgment. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be considered shall be resolved at the discretion of the appellate officer
- The appellate officer will make their decision promptly and communicate the findings to the respondent. In cases of interpersonal violence, other violence, and as allowed by law, the findings will also be communicated to the complainant in writing in a timely manner.
- Sanctions imposed during the Student Conduct process may be suspended during the time in which an appeal is reviewed. If a respondent is suspended or expelled from the institution after the conclusion of the appeals process, all academic work completed during the time of the appeal is forfeited and the sanction will be placed into effect immediately. Depending on the timing of the final decision, the sanction may be extended to the next regular semester. A student may not graduate during the appeal process.
University Appeals for Student Conduct Hearing Boards
- An appeal may be made on the following grounds:
- The Student Conduct process was not conducted in a fair or impartial manner
- New, relevant information became available after the hearing was completed
- The hearing was not conducted according to established procedures.
- A respondent has up to two business days (or by 8 a.m. on the next university business day if the deadline occurs when university offices are closed) from the date of the decision notification to submit an appeal in writing to the Student Affairs designee. This notification must clearly identify which of the reason(s) for the appeal and give clear support for this reason.
- Appeals based on the outcomes of Student Conduct Hearings Boards through the Student Affairs Office, will be heard through the Student Conduct Appeal Board which will consist of three faculty or staff members and one chairperson
- The appeals process will be limited to the content of the appeal request, a review of hearing recordings (if any), supporting documents, and related information. The respondent, and the complainant may not be required to attend the Appeals Hearing Board unless needed to explain the basis of new information.
- The decision of the Student Conduct Appeal Board will be considered to be final in all cases and cannot be appealed. Decisions of the Student Conduct Appeal Board may take one of the following three forms:
- Affirm the original decision and sanctions
- Change the original decision and/or sanctions
- Void the original decision and order a new formal hearing.
- The Student Conduct Appeal Board will make their decision promptly and communicate the findings to the respondent in in cases of interpersonal violence, other violence, and as allowed by law, the findings will also be communicated to the complainant in writing in a timely manner.
Sanctions imposed during the Student Conduct process may be suspended during the time in which an appeal is reviewed. If a respondent is suspended or expelled from the institution after the conclusion of the appeals process, all academic work completed during the time of the appeal is forfeited and the sanction will be placed into effect immediately. Depending on the timing of the final decision, the sanction may be extended to the next regular semester. A student may not graduate during the appeal process.
The sanctions listed below shall be imposed upon students when the circumstances clearly indicate that a campus regulation has been violated. The sanction for a violation may be one or a combination of those set forth below:
- Verbal Warning: an oral statement to a student that they have violated university rules.
- Written Warning: written notice to the student that continued or repeated violation of university regulations will be cause for more serious Student Conduct action
- Policy Reminder: a reminder that is issued to a student related to the university’s policies as an opportunity for students to make more informed decisions
- Removal of Property: required removal of property
- Restitution: reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of property, or required service hours
- Restriction or Revoked Privileges: limited freedom to move about, to visit residence halls or register guests in residence halls, to use campus facilities, and/or to participate in campus activities
- Educational Task: required participation in an educational risk assessment process (provided by Student Conduct staff or Counseling Services when available), assessment and attendance at an anger management program, completion of online education modules, written reflections, or other educational programs that would relate to the policy violation. Conduct restitution charges may be applied to the student account for appropriate alcohol or other drug courses.
- Change in housing and/or board plan status: housing reassignment, termination of housing, or cancellation of board plan. In cases of termination of housing, no refund will be provided for room charges
- Student Conduct Probation: period of time during which full compliance with policies, rules and regulations are mandatory. Noncompliance would make the student on probation subject to suspension or expulsion. Disciplinary probation may also include certain restrictions when so stated in the decision of the hearing body.
- Deferred Suspension: In limited circumstances, a student who has committed misconduct which would ordinarily result in suspension may be given, due to mitigating factors, one final opportunity to maintain compliance. The deferred suspension means that a student has admitted or has been found responsible for serious misconduct, resulting in a period of review during which a student must demonstrate your ability to comply with university rules, policies, or any other stipulated requirements. If during the deferred suspension a student is responsible for any violations or fails to meet communicated requirements, as determined by the Student Affairs designee, the student will be immediately suspended. A student may appeal this suspension to the Shepherd University Appeal Board, whose decision will be final.
- Suspension: restriction from campus, exclusion from class attendance and other privileges or activities as set forth in the notice of suspension for a stated period of time. The conditions of readmission, if applicable, will be stated in the order of suspension. During a period of suspension, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd University
- Expulsion: complete termination of student status for an indefinite period of time. The conditions of readmission, if applicable, will be stated in the order of expulsion. This sanction shall also be effective at all other state colleges in West Virginia
During a period of expulsion, no credits earned at another institution will be accepted at Shepherd University.
- In cases where the penalties listed above are inappropriate, an outcome especially suited to the offense may be imposed
Medical Amnesty–Special Note About Enforcement
Student health and safety are of primary concern at Shepherd University. As such, in cases of intoxication and /or alcohol poisoning, the university encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others. Those students who seek medical attention for themselves or other individuals who are intoxicated will not receive conduct sanctions for violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Medical amnesty does not preclude Student Conduct sanctions due to any other violations of the code of conduct (not related to the alcohol policy). Likewise, Medical amnesty does not prevent action by law enforcement personnel.
- Administrative Hearing: A meeting to determine if there is sufficient information to indicate that a policy violation occurred and to allow the respondent(s) the opportunity to resolve an allegation of policy violation. This meeting is held by an administrative hearing officer. A respondent who accepts responsibility for a violation and its associated sanction waives his/her right to a formal hearing.
- Administrative Hearing Officer: A University faculty or staff member charged with the responsibility of resolving alleged violations of Student Conduct through a formal hearing process and to assign sanctions, if appropriate.
- Advisor: Any individual, including legal counsel, who provides guidance to a complainant or respondent. An advisor may provide support and guidance to a complainant or respondent, but may not speak on their behalf, with the exception of Title IX hearings.
- Appellate Officer: A university faculty or staff member charged with the responsibility of resolving appeals filed by the respondent (or complainant in cases of interpersonal violence) during the Student Conduct process. Appellate officers include the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director of Residence Life, and designees.
- Code of Conduct: The document(s) in which the rules governing behavioral expectations of students are identified. These behavioral expectations may not be exhaustive, but rather indicate the general expectations of the university community.
- Complainant: The person(s) who files an initial complaint of a policy violation with the university. This person(s) can be the recipient of misconduct, a university proxy, the witness to a violation of the code, or the university itself.
- Deliberation: Deliberation occurs when the Student Conduct Hearing Board members or the administrative hearing officer reviews all the presented information, applies the standard of proof to that information, and makes a determination about the relationship of the respondent’s behavior to the policies.
- Formal Hearing: The official process in which the complainant or university representative and the respondent presents information to a Student Conduct Hearing Board or administrative hearing officer in order to resolve an allegation of policy violation.
- Information/Evidence/Documentation: Information refers to the knowledge, materials, etc. brought to the hearing, whether furnished by witnesses or derived from documents or from any other source. It should be noted that the term “information” is preferred to “evidence.”
- No Contest: Student is not contesting or challenging responsibility for the charges of the incident.
- Not Responsible: Student is found more likely than not to not be accountable for the alleged policy violation.
- Pre-Hearing Conference: A meeting with the Student Conduct officer that is requested by the respondent or complainant in order to convey information about the formal hearing process.
- Preliminary Hearing: A hearing which occurs to notify students of alleged violations and potential outcomes. A respondent may accept responsibility for the alleged violations and outcomes during this hearing, or deny responsibility moving the process forward to a formal hearing.
- Preponderance of Information/Standard of Proof: Preponderance of information characterizes the standard of proof in the Student Conduct procedures. A preponderance of information means a greater weight of evidence or “more likely than not.”
- Respondent: The respondent is the student who is accused of violating University Code of Conduct and who is responding to the complaint and charges.
- Responsible: Student is found more likely than not that they are responsible for violating a university policy, whether the responsibility was claimed by the student or assigned through the Student Conduct process.
- Sanction: Sanction is the term used for the outcomes assigned to students as a result of being found responsible for violating a university policy.
- Student: Any individual who is enrolled in or auditing courses at Shepherd University on a full-time or part-time basis, including between terms, during vacation periods, advisement and registration sessions, orientation, summer break, or a period of suspension or withdrawal.
- Student Conduct Administrator: An administrator designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs with the responsibility for the overall administration of the Student Conduct process at Shepherd University. The Student Conduct administrator at Shepherd University is the Dean of Students or designee.
- Student Conduct Hearing Board: Consists of three individuals, including staff or faculty members and one chairperson. The Student Conduct Hearing Board is charged with the responsibility of resolving alleged violations of student conduct through a formal hearing process and to assign sanctions, if appropriate.
- Student Conduct Officer: A university faculty or staff member charged with the responsibility of resolving alleged violations of Student Conduct. Student Conduct Officers can include, but are not limited to, Dean of Students, the Coordinator for Student Conduct, Graduate Assistant for Student Conduct, Student Conduct Board members, Director of Residence Life, Associate/Assistant Director of Residence Life, Area Directors of Residence Life, Graduate Hall Directors, and others designated by the Dean of Students.
- University Representative: A university faculty or staff member that presents information related to an allegation of policy violation on behalf of the university.
- Witness: Any individual who provides information to the Student Conduct officer related to an alleged policy violation.